Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Justice...that She Deserves

Guys as when I started this blog I put focus on some social issues which are like curse to us like poverty, child labor, sexual harassment, racism etc. Although I am working for people who are in USA but still don't feel regret to say that in America racism is very acute and sometimes it hurts people like hell.

Today while surfing the net I came across a news on Yahoo news which tells that an Indian engineer got compensation of 5.5 million dollar from her Silicon Valley firm. The whole story is like this...

Kiran Pandey is an Indian Engineer working in Silicon Valley USA. She lodged a complaint against her previous employer of racism. The jury found Kiran Pande's former employer Chevron liable for wrongful termination and retaliation and ruled that she be given roughly USD three million for past and future economic losses, and USD 2.5 million in punitive damages.

Pande, who is India-born and holds a Ph.D. In petroleum engineering from Stanford University, was fired by Chevron in late 2003 after 15 years with the company.

After a three-week trial stemming from incidents that occurred between September 2000 and December 2003, the jury found that Chevron retaliated against Pande after she complained about discrimination and fired her for reasons that violated a public policy.

Chevron first hired Pande as a research engineer in 1988. But in 2001 Pande began to suffer racist remarks and discrimination at the hand of his senior Rex Mitchell, who is now the company's chief compliance officer, according to her complaint, filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

By March 2002, Pande complained to Mitchell's supervisor, James Johnson, about Mitchell's conduct.

Johnson did not investigate, Pande said and alleged that she was given the choice of leaving the company or leaving the group or staying for up to 18 months and getting along with Mitchell.

Later she filed a formal complaint against Mitchell with a company ombudsman.

See guys I love this when I find people get justice...aren't you!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is India Shining Really?

Tourists hoping for a glimpse of real India should ditch the well-trodden Red Fort-Taj Mahal circuit and make a pilgrimage to a little-known Moghul-era tomb hidden in the shabby residential district of Kotla, smack in the center of Delhi.

The tomb itself is in bad shape, despite the sign outside which proclaims it a nationally protected monument, but visitors are welcome to walk inside and climb up the unlit stone staircase to the roof.

This is where the excursion becomes interesting, and it is perhaps Delhi police officers, rather than tourists, who should be taking stock of the view from here.

Ugly apartment blocks have been built around the monument over the last few decades, in places barely a meter from its walls. In many of the windows opposite, young children are clearly visible, hunched over low tables, diligently embroidering sequins onto brightly-colored silk and gauze.

Welcome to India's zari industry - where children labor for a pittance to stitch elaborate brocaded designs onto high-fashion evening wear for India's new rich.

Around half a dozen of these sweatshops are open to casual inspection from the tomb's roof. In the labyrinthine lanes nearby, too narrow for cars to pass through, there are dozens more.

Inside, boys as young as young as 9 cautiously describe their bleak working conditions. They squat on the floor for the duration of their 16-hour shifts, from 9 a.m. until 1 a.m. the following morning, for which they earn about 100 rupees, or $2.50. Food (watery vegetable curry and rice) is served in plastic buckets.

The children, all migrants from impoverished rural areas, sleep and work in the same squalid, bare rooms, their few belongings stored in plastic bags in the corner. In some places, as many as 16 live cramped together, with only a CD player to break the monotony.

This area of Delhi is well-known as a ghetto of cheap child laborers, available to do contract work for the textile industry. In the gutters outside, the raw sewage that runs down open drains sparkles with sequins. Tiny flashes of pink, yellow and green turn out, on closer inspection, to be glinting plastic jewels, decorating the mounds of cow and goat dung.

Despite repeated requests from Bachpan Bachao Andolan, an energetic nongovernment organization dedicated to eradicating child labor, and despite the presence of a police station less than one kilometer away, nothing has been done to shut down these workshops, even though the employment of children under 14 in the zari business has been illegal for more than 20 years.

The scene broadly sums up the effectiveness of India's ban on child labor.

On Wednesday, India marked the first anniversary of the strengthening of its child labor laws. A year ago this week, amid much media excitement and government fanfare, an amendment to the Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act, which prohibits the employment of children under 14 in "hazardous" jobs, was announced, extending the definition of what constitutes hazardous to include children working in homes as maids, and in hotels, restaurants and roadside caf├ęs as low-paid waiters.

At the time, activists working in the field voiced some caution about what they felt were inadequate preparations for the rescue and rehabilitation of illegally employed children, and warned that vigorous enforcement was essential if the modified law were to be any more potent than the existing statutes.

A year on, there is frustration at the slow pace of change.

On the plus side, campaigners say there has been considerable raising of awareness across the country, so that most people now realize that employing a young child as a cleaner in your home is illegal. On the less positive side, since there has been very little police action to prosecute those who continue to employ children, there is a belief that it is possible to continue as before with impunity.

Back With A Bang

After a gap of 9-10 months I am back with blogging. Yes its true there was a time when blogging was my life but dew to shortage of time or pressure of life whatever you guys say...I could not blog. Trust me this hibernation period of blogging was like a hell but I could not manage time to cut this hell out. Anyways thanks to my friends who inspired me again and helped me to get back my urge. So guys I am back with my life...blogging.